In a sentence, it is a community that shares the cost of working on projects. This means tools, materials, workshop space and knowledge. Hackspaces are springing up all over the world.
What happens at a Hackspace is very much down to its members. There are some favourite activities like programming and electronics, but basically if something rings your bell then setup a group. The London Hackspace has sub groups including brewing, bee keeping, Bio-hacking and more as the membership grows.
Norwich Hackspace has been holding regular member sessions at Lion House, Muspole Street since August 2016 and we are steadily building a strong membership. At the moment we have member sessions Monday evenings which are open to non-members to come and see what it is all about. Once you are a trusted member we allow more access and it is possible to come to the space on any day.
A hackspace differs from Fablabs because they are community rather than commercial organisations and Makerspaces because they tend to be about reusing and reshaping rather than making from scratch, although there is a definite overlap. Hackspaces also tend to have a leaning towards new technology such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi as well as traditional skills. And activities can be as broad as welding and woodwork to textiles and ceramics, brewing and electronics - basically whatever members are interested in - the emphasis is on DIY, curiosity and innovation.
There are already a number of hackspaces in the UK and worldwide. Their websites are chock full of information and examples of how a successful hackspace can be run. Many of these are much larger than Norwich Hackspace and we aim to keep or numbers smaller so that we function more like a club:
The Nottingham Hackspace has a particularly good tour video which demonstrates what we are aiming at in Norwich.